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Cool Summer Salad: Spicy Honeydew and Cantaloupe

Chef Ashton Keefe shows us how to give these oft-overlooked melons another go.

Last year, an article in the New York Times perfectly summed up everything I've ever thought about melon: it looks nice but who wants to eat it? Honeydew gets a bad rap. I blame the grab-and-go fruit salads that have popped up everywhere from the grocery store to the corner café—all bottom-loaded and rendered bland with the inclusion of unripe fruit. The truth is ripe melon, both honeydew and cantaloupe, can be spectacular, especially in late summer. They're also affordable and chock-full of nutrients—the trifecta for a great morning or afternoon snack.

To help you give melon another shot, chef, cookbook author, and Today-show stylist Ashton Keefe created a ridiculously easy-to-make fruit salad that can be served as a pre-meal appetizer to awaken the palate or as a light, unexpected dessert after a long or particularly heavy dinner. The key ingredient? A generous helping of red and black pepper, which complements the melon's sweetness. Try it before the summer ends—it just may have you rethinking that watermelon.

Salt & Pepper Melon Salad
Serves 6

- ½ cantaloupe, deseeded and sliced
- ½ honeydew melon, deseeded and sliced
- 2-3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Maldon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon finely cracked black pepper

Line a large tray with melon slices and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoning to desired liking, adjusting spice for pickier eaters.